Out of Left Field {An Announcement of Sorts}

by Laura on April 19, 2014

god's curveball

It does seem that God operates out of left field with us. 

The curveball. The surprise. The bend in the road we didn’t expect. The plot twist we didn’t see coming. The baby we carried but couldn’t deliver. The job we planned for but someone else got offered. The house that dropped in our laps.

My mom says that sometimes it’s the line drives out of left field that shout loudest of divine intervention. I’m coming to agree with her.

As many of you know, we recently bought tickets for our family to go back to SE Asia for the summer (8 weeks) in an effort to cut down on Matt’s traveling during the year. Mid-may was (well, is) the flight. July 19th the return. Things would rock along here in our Colorado office until we got back.

Then, to our surprise, our landlord at The Exodus Road office didn’t renew our lease, letting us know we’d need to move the U.S. headquarters where we’d been working with a staff of six by June 1. Curveball One. 

We began making plans to move our family and the office down to Colorado Springs (about 20 minutes away from the small town we live in now), feeling that it would be a better place for overall thriving. We started the conversations with the kids. We listed our house. We made goodwill runs. We packed up the fondue pot.

Then, the real curveball out of left field. Matt got an offer for a position with key leaders in SE Asia to continue building collaboration among those in the anti-trafficking community –which, if you have followed along with The Exodus Road, you know is a heartbeat close to ours. The position, working with partners he’s already invested heavily in over the last several years, would be based out of Asia. It would require another international move, but it would allow him to still lead The Exodus Road from the field, which he’s desperately missed. It would also place The Exodus Road in a much stronger position for funding from several different sources.

Tricky part is that because of the plans and tickets we’d already made for our then-summer-only trip, our departure date to Asia needed to stay firm, regardless of when we’d be returning. That flight is in, oh, 23 days. 

Apparently, balls from left field can also be moving pretty fast. 

god's curveball

We’ve spent the last three weeks processing this thing to death. The kids, the transition, the benefits, the risks. We’ve prayed the hell out of it, too– for protection against fear and confusion and thinking-too-small-of-God. We’ve gone round in circles and landed in wildly different places; we’ve had a million dinner-time conversations with our kids. We’ve weighed the pros and cons and “coincidences.”

And, as it looks right now, after nearly two years in the mountains of Colorado, our family will soon be taking another crack at living overseas. (<– See what I did there?)

(Possibly) Dependent on our kids getting into the Christian school we’ve applied for (pray for that, would you?), we’ll be heading back to SE Asia this summer for a time (one year? two? more?).  We’ve had the privilege of building The Exodus Road from the States, building structure, funding, and momentum; now we get to go back to develop further the program from the field, deepening relationships with partners and writing better stories.

It’s thrilling and faith-stretching. It’s overwhelming and, I won’t lie, doubt-filled. It’s also  . . .  insanely busy. In fact, as it stands right now, we have 3 1/2 weeks to:

secure new office space, move and then set up the office, sell or rent our house, sell both cars, move our stuff into storage, hire a new Operations Manager for Exodus Road (know someone interested?), host two fundraising events already on the calendar, pack for an international move, find a rental house over in Asia to secure, leave our family and friends well (though we’ll be back at Christmas to visit), and care for our kids (and our own) tender hearts in the process.

I’ll be honest I’ve been fighting a panic attack or two.

But life doesn’t always go like you plan it. Curveballs come. The path takes a new direction. Opportunities arise. A move down a mountain becomes a move around the world. 

And the longer I walk with God (and maybe just the older I get, too), I’m learning that fleshing-out His design for your life might not be as much in having the plan figured out as it is responding well to those balls that come flying at you, completely out of left field. 

______

Pray for our family, if you think of us. Specifically, pray that if it’s God’s best, the kids would get into the school we’ve applied for. Also pray for the million-and-two details that need to happen in the next 23(!!!) days.

Moving forward, for security purposes, I’ll need to make some changes in how I engage in social media. I’ll consistently be saying SE Asia, instead of a particular city/country, and my personal facebook page and blog will begin looking a bit differently, too. Thanks for your understanding in these details.

  • Marla Taviano

    Oh. My. Word. I know this is crazy stressful and holy cow YIKES, but I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS!! E-mailing you immediately. xoxoxoxo (also, I’m praying!!)

  • pastordt

    Holy crap. Wowza. Are you kidding me? This is crazy. There. I’ve exhausted my go-to phrases when I’m gobsmacked by something. AMAZING. Praying for all of you as you try and cover way too many bases, and that people will appear from out of the woodwork to help you with all the details. And especially praying that your kiddos will get into that school and that you’ll know about it ASAP. Glad you’re young, honey. Unbelievable.

  • http://www.angiewashington.com/ Angie Washington

    YEAH! I am so very excited for you. Praying harder than ever for y’all, Laura. Love you!

  • http://www.wideopenground.com/ Lana

    Yes, I will be praying for you guys! And welcome back to the humidity!

  • Dalaina May

    Girl, I am having a panic attack reading that. I mean, we have a year to plan and I am FREAKING OUT because we are 2 1/2 months out, but you… Holy Freaking Cow. Um. yeah. Praying for you all. Excited for you and looking forward to seeing what God will do with you in the coming months… If it’s helpful, my mantra in our many overseas moves is “Do the important stuff first because some stuff won’t get done and that’s just gonna have to be okay.”

  • http://www.stillnotthereyet.com/ Wendy Willard

    Love how you are walking day by day, figuring it out as you go along… following wherever He leads! I remember that you were just leaving the field when we were entering it. And we never expected to be here this long! Yet here we are… one foot in front of the other, eh? So appreciate your voice along the way!

  • http://www.emergingmummy.com/ Sarah Bessey

    Praying for you right this moment, Laura. Eshet chayil! Woman of valour! You’ve got this, girl.

  • Elizabeth Trotter

    I’d been wondering over the past few weeks if your upcoming trip was going to be a move instead. . . Can’t wait to see where God takes you! (And I hope we get to meet up too, eventually.)

  • thelifeartist

    oh, babe… you GO, you brave and beautiful people YOU! and we’ll cover your backs in prayers as best we can. i love you, lady.

  • OutnumberedMom

    Laura, praying for that school enrollment for the kids and for those million and one details. Your obedience to Him is convicting, inspiring, and downright awesome.

  • jennieallen

    Yes Laura! We all are praying. This is big. xo

  • lindseyrnobles

    Praying!

  • Shannon

    Laura, I first read your post yesterday and was going to respond but attending Handel’s Messiah happened. But I couldn’t get your “move” out of my mind. I started reading your blog when I first moved to Africa when you were still in Asia – before The Exodus Road. And your writing – even about struggles – was SO encouraging to me. I’m pretty sure I read a blog post our two out loud to friends. All that to say, my prayers are with you and your family as you move – crazily fast – and embark on an new chapter in this adventure! May God give you peace, may He give you a “home” that is a blessing to your family and others, may He give you smooth transition, and may He give you a couple, new but quickly deep friendships (because I’ve learned that is much needed!). His Spirit walks Before you, His Spirit walks With you. Blessings.

  • http://onepersontoanother.blogspot.com/ Gary Ware

    “I’m learning that fleshing-out His design for your life might not be as much in having the plan figured out as it is responding well”.
    When you learn this, you have learned THE most important lessson. Our daughter and son-in-law are in similar circumstances and applying the same principle. I anticipate the “after the move” good news.

  • http://www.pensieve.me/ Robin Dance

    Laura,

    This sounds like a God thing, start to finish. It will be an amazing story to tell, because this chapter already has me sitting on the edge of my seat! I’m praying for you and your family, trusting the Lord to reveal Himself in ways to you you never saw coming. Love well, friend.

  • Susan Bernstetter

    praying for the whole Parker family and God’s provision. Your curveball makes mine seem infinitely small. God Bless you all

  • http://hikingtowardhome.com/ Sharon@HikingTowardHome

    Praying!!! What a series of curveballs!!

  • http://www.thehomemadecreative.com/ Alena@TheHomemadeCreative

    You’re in our prayers, too. Thanks in part to your journey, my husband Nick and I are preparing to move to SE Asia ourselves, for similar work. Your book just arrived on my doorstep, and I’m excited and terrified to crack it open!! I’ve been toying with the idea of emailing you about all of this, but now I think I’ll wait a couple of months. #wink Go with God! ♥

  • Ashley

    Continuing to pray for you and your family!!!!

  • Darla Unrau

    Totally understand…been there so often in the past few years…God does crazy things, but He always makes a way!

    http://darlalawan.blogspot.com/

  • Rachel ‘Pieh’ Jones

    Not sure how I missed this Laura – but will be praying. I hear your heart in all the hard things and the good things and the ways God is leading. Press on, fix your eyes on what is unseen, be filled with faith and may joy mark your steps.

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